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GUSTAV FRANZ WAGNER (18 July 1911 – 3 October 1980) was an Austrian member of the SS with the rank of Staff sergeant ( Oberscharführer ). Wagner was a starter deputy commander of the Sobibór extermination camp in German-occupied Poland , where more than 200,000 Jews
Jews
were gassed during Operation Reinhard . Due to his brutality, he was known as "THE BEAST" and "WOLF".

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Vienna
Vienna
, Wagner joined the Nazi Party in 1931 as member number 443,217. After being arrested for proscribed National Socialist agitation, he fled to Germany, where he joined the SA and later the SS in the late 1930s.

In May 1940, Wagner was part of the Action T4
Action T4
euthanasia program at Hartheim with administrative functions . Due to his experience in T4, Wagner was assigned to help establish the Sobibór extermination camp in March 1942. Once the gassing installations were completed, Wagner became deputy commandant of the camp under Commandant Franz Stangl . His official title was quartermaster-sergeant of the camp.

Wagner was in charge of selecting which prisoners from the newly arrived transports would be used as slave laborers in and outside the camp, and which would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. When Wagner was on vacation or attending to duties elsewhere, Karl Frenzel assumed his role within the camp.

More than any other officer at Sobibór, Wagner was responsible for the daily interactions with prisoners. Wagner supervised the routine and daily life at Sobibór, and he was one of the most brutal SS officers. Survivors of the camp described him as a cold-blooded sadist. Wagner was known to beat and thrash camp inmates on a regular basis, and to kill Jews
Jews
without reason or restraint. Inmate Moshe Bahir described him:

He was a handsome man, tall and blond — a pure Aryan
Aryan
. In civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor
Sobibor
he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds... He would snatch babies from their mothers' arms and tear them to pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly, since they did not understand German. I remember that one night a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp. The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious, he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham's younger brother.

Erich Bauer
Erich Bauer
would later remark:

I estimate that the number of Jews
Jews
gassed at Sobibor
Sobibor
was about 350,000. In the canteen at Sobibor
Sobibor
I once overheard a conversation between Karl Frenzel , Franz Stangl and Gustav Wagner. They were discussing the number of victims in the extermination camps of Belzec , Treblinka
Treblinka
and Sobibor
Sobibor
and expressed their regret that Sobibor
Sobibor
"came last" in the competition.

Inmate Eda Lichtman wrote that on the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
, Wagner appeared at roll call, selected some prisoners, gave them bread and forced them to eat it. As the prisoners ate the bread, Wagner laughed loudly, enjoying his joke because he knew that these Jews
Jews
were pious.

One of the Sobibór prisoners improvised a song which ironically described camp life (original text with English translation):

* Wie lustig ist da unser Leben * Man tut uns zu essen geben * Wie lustig ist im grünen Wald * Wo ich mir aufhalt * How fun is our life there, * They give us food to eat that's fair, * What fun it is in the green wood, * Where I am stood.

Wagner enjoyed this song and he forced the prisoners to sing it frequently.

After two Jews
Jews
escaped from Sobibór in the spring of 1943, Wagner was put in charge of a squad of soldiers from the Wehrmacht, who laid minefields around the camp so as to prevent further escapes. However, these efforts did not prevent another escape, which took form in the Sobibór revolt. Wagner was not present at the camp on the day of the Sobibór revolt (14 October 1943). The inmates knew of Wagner's absence and believed that it would improve their chances of success. Wagner was considered the strictest in terms of prisoner supervision at the camp. After the successful revolt, Wagner was ordered to aid in closing the camp. He helped to dismantle and remove evidence of the camp by ruthlessly commanding the Jewish prisoners who performed this task. For instance, after the Arbeitsjuden ("worker Jews") had been transported from Treblinka
Treblinka
and had successfully torn down the Sobibór barracks, Wagner killed them.

Heinrich Himmler considered Wagner to be "one of the most deserving men of Operation Reinhard " (German : einer der verdientesten Männer der Aktion Reinhard).

After Sobibór, Wagner was transferred to Italy, where he participated in the deportation of Jews.

AFTER WORLD WAR II

Gustav Wagner was sentenced to death in absentia , but escaped with Franz Stangl to Brazil
Brazil
. Clergy at the Collegio Teutonico di Santa Maria dell'Anima in Rome assisted Wagner in his flight from justice. Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on 12 April 1950 and on 000000001950-12-04-00004 December 1950 a Brazilian passport was issued in the name of "Günther Mendel", his new identity. He lived in Brazil
Brazil
undisturbed until he was exposed by Simon Wiesenthal and arrested on 30 May 1978. Extradition requests from Israel
Israel
, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil's Attorney General. On 22 June 1979 the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a West German extradition request.

Wagner, in a 1979 BBC
BBC
interview, showed no remorse for his activities in running the camp, remarking:

I had no feelings. ... It just became another job. In the evening we never discussed our work, but just drank and played cards.

In October 1980, Wagner was found with a knife in his chest in São Paulo . According to his attorney, Wagner committed suicide . His date of death was determined to be 3 October 1980.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Sobibor
Sobibor
- The Forgotten Revolt * ^ A B Klee, Ernst; Dressen, Willi; Riess, Volker, eds. (1991). The "Good Old Days" – The Holocaust
The Holocaust
as Seen by its Perpetrators and Bystanders. (trans. by Deborah Burnstone). Konecky & Konecky. p. 302. ISBN 978-1568521336 . * ^ A B C Klee, Ernst (2011). Das Personen Lexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945? (in German). Koblenz: Edition Kramer. p. 649. ISBN 978-398114834-3 . * ^ A B C D E Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, p. 1,014. Macmillan, New York, 1991. ISBN 0-02-897502-2 * ^ A B C D E Sobibor
Sobibor
Interviews: Biographies of SS-men * ^ A B C D E Arad, Yitzhak (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 191–2. ISBN 0-253-21305-3 . * ^ Klee, Dressen & Riess 1991 , p. 232. * ^ Arad 1987 , p. 230. * ^ Walters, Guy (2010). Hunting Evil. London: Bantam Books. p. 240. * ^ Bower, Tom (19 August 1979). "The Tracking And Freeing Of a Nazis Killer". The Washington Post. (reprinted from a BBC
BBC
television program).

* v * t * e

Sobibór extermination camp

CAMP ORGANIZERS

* Odilo Lotario Globocnik * Hermann Julius Höfle * Richard Wolfgang Thomalla * Erwin Hermann Lambert * Karl Steubl * Christian Wirth

COMMANDANT

* Franz Paul Stangl a * Franz Karl Reichleitner b

DEPUTIES

* Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel * Hermann Michel * Johann Niemann * Gustav Franz Wagner

Gas chamber executioners

* Hermann Erich Bauer
Erich Bauer
* Heinz Kurt Bolender

OTHER OFFICERS

* Rudolf Beckmann * Paul Bredow * Herbert Floss * Erich Fritz Erhard Fuchs * Siegfried Graetschus * Lorenz Hackenholt * Josef "Sepp" Hirtreiter * Jakob Alfred Ittner * Erich Gustav Willie Lachmann * Willi Mentz * Paul Rost * Ernst Stengelin * Ernst Zierke * Heinrich Barbl

GUARDS

UKRAINIANS

* Ivan Demjanjuk * " Trawnikis " c * Volksdeutsche

PROMINENT VICTIMS

* Helga Deen * Anna Dresden-Polak * Emanuel Lodewijk Elte * Else Feldmann * Isidore Goudeket * Jakob van Hoddis * Han Hollander * Gerrit Kleerekoper * Pati Kremer * Kurt Lilien * Juan Luria * Messaoud El Mediouni * Helena Nordheim * Abraham de Oliveira * Emanuel Querido * Jud Simons
Jud Simons
* Philip Slier * Leo Smit * Max van Dam * Michel Velleman

* Resistance * Survivors

SURVIVORS

* Philip Bialowitz * Thomas Blatt * Selma Engel-Wijnberg * Leon Feldhendler * Dov Freiberg * Alexander Pechersky * Jules Schelvis * Joseph Serchuk

NAZI ORGANIZATIONS

* General Government
General Government
* SS-Totenkopfverbände
SS-Totenkopfverbände

* Planning * Methods

* Documents * Evidence

* Operation Reinhard

* Höfle Telegram

* Aftermath * Memorials

* Sobibór trial * Sobibór Museum

RELATED TOPICS

* The Holocaust
The Holocaust
* Operation Reinhard * Nazi concentration camps * Extermination camp
Extermination camp

* a 28 April to 30 August 1942 * b 1 September 1942 to 17 October 1943 * c Up to 200

* Death camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau * Bełżec * Chełmno * Jasenovac * Majdanek * Maly Trostenets * Sajmište * SOBIBóR * Treblinka
Treblinka

* v * t * e

The Holocaust
The Holocaust
in Poland

Main article The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Related articles by country Belarus Belgium Croatia Denmark Estonia France Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Ukraine

* v * t * e

Camps, ghettos and operations

CAMPS

EXTERMINATION

* Auschwitz-Birkenau * Chełmno * Majdanek

* Operation Reinhard death camps

* Bełżec * Sobibór * Treblinka
Treblinka

CONCENTRATION

* Kraków-Płaszów * Potulice * Soldau * Stutthof * Szebnie * Trawniki * Warsaw

MASS SHOOTINGS

* AB Action * Erntefest * Jedwabne * Kielce cemetery * Aktion Krakau * Lviv pogroms * Lwów professors * Palmiry
Palmiry
* Sonderaktion Krakau
Sonderaktion Krakau
* Tannenberg * Tykocin * Bydgoszcz * Wąsosz * Bloody Sunday

GHETTOS

* List of 277 Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland (1939–1942)

* Będzin * Białystok * Brest * Częstochowa * Grodno * Kraków * Lwów * Łódź * Lubartów * Lublin * Międzyrzec Podlaski * Mizocz * Nowy Sącz * Pińsk * Radom * Słonim * Sosnowiec * Stanisławów * Wilno * Warsaw

OTHER ATROCITIES

* Action T4
Action T4
* Grossaktion Warsaw * Human medical experimentation

* v * t * e

Perpetrators, participants, organizations, and collaborators

MAJOR PERPETRATORS

ORGANIZERS

* Josef Bühler * Eichmann * Eicke * Ludwig Fischer * Hans Frank * Globocnik * Glücks * Greiser * Himmler * Hermann Höfle * Fritz Katzmann
Fritz Katzmann
* Wilhelm Koppe * Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger * Kutschera * Erwin Lambert * Ernst Lerch * Oswald Pohl * Reinefarth * Scherner * Seyss-Inquart * Sporrenberg * Streckenbach * Thomalla * Otto Wächter * Wisliceny

CAMP COMMAND

* Aumeier * Baer * Boger * Braunsteiner * Eberl * Eupen * Kurt Franz * Karl Frenzel * Karl Fritzsch * Göth * Grabner * Hartjenstein * Hering * Höss * Hössler * Josef Kramer * Liebehenschel * Mandel * Matthes * Michel * Möckel * Mulka * Johann Niemann * Oberhauser * Reichleitner * Heinrich Schwarz
Heinrich Schwarz
* Stangl * Gustav Wagner * Christian Wirth

GAS CHAMBER EXECUTIONERS

* Erich Bauer
Erich Bauer
* Bolender * Hackenholt * Klehr * Hans Koch * Herbert Lange
Herbert Lange
* Theuer

PHYSICIANS

* von Bodmann * Clauberg * Gebhardt * Fritz Klein * Mengele * Horst Schumann * Trzebinski * Eduard Wirths
Eduard Wirths

GHETTO COMMAND

* Auerswald * Biebow * Blösche * Bürkl * Konrad * Palfinger * von Sammern-Frankenegg * Stroop

EINSATZGRUPPEN

* Wolfgang Birkner * Blobel * Felix Landau * Schaper * Schöngarth * von Woyrsch

PERSONNEL

CAMP GUARDS

* Juana Bormann * Danz * Demjanjuk * Margot Dreschel * Kurt Gerstein * Grese * Höcker * Kaduk * Kollmer * Muhsfeldt * Orlowski * Volkenrath

BY CAMP

* Sobibór * Treblinka
Treblinka

ORGANIZATIONS

* Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
* General Government
General Government
* Hotel Polski * WVHA * RKFDV * VoMi

COLLABORATORS

JEWISH

* Group 13 * Kapo * Żagiew

Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian

* Schutzmannschaft

OTHER NATIONALITIES

* Arajs Kommando * Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
* Ukrainian collaboration * Lithuanian Security Police * Trawniki * Ypatingasis būrys * Pieter Menten

* v * t * e

Resistance: Judenrat, victims, documentation and technical

ORGANIZATIONS

* AK * AOB * Bund * GL * PKB * ŻOB * ŻZA

UPRISINGS

* Ghetto uprisings * Białystok * Częstochowa * Sobibór * Treblinka
Treblinka
* Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising

LEADERS

* Mordechai Anielewicz
Mordechai Anielewicz
* Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum * Icchak Cukierman * Marek Edelman
Marek Edelman
* Leon Feldhendler * Paweł Frenkiel * Henryk Iwański * Itzhak Katzenelson * Michał Klepfisz * Miles Lerman * Alexander Pechersky * Witold Pilecki * Frumka Płotnicka * Roza Robota * Szmul Zygielbojm

JUDENRAT

* Jewish Ghetto Police * Adam Czerniaków * Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski

VICTIM LISTS

GHETTOS

* Kraków * Łódź * Lvov (Lwów) * Warsaw

CAMPS

* Auschwitz * Bełżec * Gross-Rosen * Izbica * Majdanek * Sobibór * Soldau * Stutthof * Trawniki * Treblinka
Treblinka

DOCUMENTATION

NAZI SOURCES

* Auschwitz Album * Frank Memorandum * Höcker Album * Höfle Telegram * Katzmann Report * Korherr Report * Nisko Plan * Posen speeches
Posen speeches
* Special
Special
Prosecution Book-Poland * Stroop Report
Stroop Report
* Wannsee Conference

WITNESS ACCOUNTS

* Graebe affidavit * Gerstein Report * Vrba–Wetzler report * Witold\'s Report * Sonderkommando photographs

CONCEALMENT

* Sonderaktion 1005

TECHNICAL AND LOGISTICS

* Identification in camps * Gas chamber * Gas van
Gas van
* Holocaust train * Human medical experimentation * Zyklon B
Zyklon B

* v * t * e

Aftermath, trials and commemoration

AFTERMATH

* Holocaust survivors * Polish population transfers (1944–1946) * Bricha
Bricha
* Kielce pogrom * Anti-Jewish violence, 1944–46 * Ministry of Public Security

TRIALS

WEST GERMAN TRIALS

* Frankfurt Auschwitz trials
Frankfurt Auschwitz trials
* Treblinka
Treblinka
trials

POLISH, EAST GERMAN, AND SOVIET TRIALS

* Auschwitz trial (Poland) * Stutthof trials * Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission

MEMORIALS

* Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Jews
* Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum * Majdanek State Museum * Sobibór Museum * International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz * March of the Living

RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

* Polish Righteous Among the Nations * Rescue of Jews
Jews
by Poles during the Holocaust * Garden of the Righteous

* v * t * e

Post-war flight of Axis fugitives

FUGITIVES

GERMAN / AUSTRIAN

* Ludolf von Alvensleben * Klaus Barbie * Hermine Braunsteiner * Alois Brunner
Alois Brunner
* Adolf Eichmann * Aribert Heim * Walter Kutschmann
Walter Kutschmann
* Johann von Leers * Josef Mengele
Josef Mengele
* Hermann Michel * Erich Priebke * Walter Rauff * Eduard Roschmann * Walter Schreiber * Horst Schumann * Josef Schwammberger * Franz Stangl * Gustav Wagner

CROATIAN

* Milivoj Ašner * Andrija Artuković
Andrija Artuković
* Anton Geiser * Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelić
* Dinko Šakić * Vjekoslav Vrančić

BELGIAN

* Pierre Daye * Léon Degrelle
Léon Degrelle
* René Lagrou

UKRAINIAN

* John Demjanjuk * Feodor Fedorenko * Mykola Lebed

DANISH

* Søren Kam * Carl Værnet

ESTONIAN

* Aleksander Laak * Karl Linnas

LATVIAN

* Viktors Arājs * Herberts Cukurs
Herberts Cukurs

OTHER NATIONALITIES

* Tscherim Soobzokov (Circassian)

ASSISTANC